Adding cholera to Mugabe's crimes

A deadly outbreak intensifies pressure on Zimbabwe's leader to step down

"Zimbabwe's dictatorial Robert Mugabe has added another misery to the lengthy list of miseries he has inflicted on his long-suffering country—cholera," said the Rocky Mountain News in an editorial. Mugabe insists the outbreak, which has caused 775 deaths, is under control, but the reality is that it is now spreading into neighboring countries. And all because Mugabe's "brutal police state" has ruined the economy and left Harare, a once modern capital, without running water or sewage disposal.

Zimbabwe "is dying," said Roger Bate in National Review Online. But "Mugabe—the octogenarian despot who liberated Rhodesia from white rule to form the new country of Zimbabwe—appears to believe that, since he created the country, he can and will destroy it." Unless the West withholds aid to the region to get the country's neighbors to push Mugabe out, he and his cronies will suck the last drop of "lifeblood" from their once productive nation.

President Bush summed it up nicely this week, said The Washington Times in an editorial, when he said, "It is time for Robert Mugabe to go." The man isn't his country's legitimate leader in the first place—opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was the real winner of March elections. But "human suffering" on this scale, when caused by a regime's indifference, amounts to genocide, so the world must act now to end Mugabe's tyranny.

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Mugabe has been blamed for everything from AIDS to "cricket-team performance," said Reason Wafafarova in Zimbabwe's state-owned The Herald, so why not add cholera to his alleged crimes? But "ravaging sanctions" have done as much as anything to impoverish Zimbabwe. Western leaders have never forgiven Mugabe for liberating his country and giving its farms back to the "landless masses," so they'll just keep calling him a murderer to make sure the label sticks.

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